Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tamarind Paste

(about 2 1/2 -3 cups)

I love tamarind which I first encountered while living in an East Indian community in Toronto. I've tried various pastes and concentrated forms of it, but eventually I realised I preferred the taste of  "wet tamarind" the best. It involves a bit of work, but I process the entire package at once and freeze the remainder in ice cube trays for later use.

Wet tamarind is sold in small blocks and I look for packages which feel soft, avoiding the hard ones.

1 14oz package wet tamarind
about 2 1/2 - 3 cups very hot water

Break up the tamarind block into small pieces and pour about 1 1/2 cups of hot water over it. Set it aside for about 30 minutes.

Using the back of a large spoon (or even your fingers) work to break up the tamarind pulp as best you can.

Force small amounts through a sieve. Set aside the bits that didn't go through.

Pour another cup of hot water over the reserved pulp (from the sieve) and leave for about 5 minutes. Stir it a few times and then force small amounts though the sieve again until there's no more remaining.

Occasionally I will do this a third time, adding about 1/2 cup of water. It all depends on how much paste I was able to express the first two times.

This will provide you with about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of delicious tart tamarind paste. It will keep refrigerated for a couple of weeks if you decide not to freeze it.


Renata said...

Thanks for sharing this amazing tip, I have just bought a package of tamarind pulp for the DC's challenge and was afraid it would go bad before I use it up. I'll use your method, thanks!

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Tamarind seems to last a long time. I have a box of fresh sweet tamarind pods in my refrigerator for snacking.. the expiration date is next year! No preservatives.

Speedbump Kitchen said...

Thanks for this post! I had NO IDEA what to do when hubby came home from the grocery with a block of tamarind instead of the paste I sent him to get! This was great.

Jalstetten said...

A major thanks for taking the time to explain this !

MoniBaroni said...

Hi! Where can I buy tamarind paste in Dallas?

Gerlinde in Washington said...

MoniBaroni.. I get it at Hong Kong Market.. the location at Walnut.

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